Friday, November 15, 2019

Always Read the Fine Print

LittleMachineShop.com offered this 3" screwless vise marked down to $74.95 on closeout:
This high precision toolmakers screwless vise has a one-piece body. The body and jaws are hardened to Rc 58-62. All sides are flat, square and parallel to 0.0002". There are horizontal and vertical vees on the inside face of the movable jaw to hold round objects.This screwless vise has slots along the sides so you can clamp it to the mill table with a clamping kit.
The jaws are 1.357" deep and open to 3.94" capacity.
The vise is 7.72" long, 2.76" tall and 2.875" wide.
but:
These vises have blemishes, cosmetic defects, and/or light rust, but function normally 
What I received:

They appear flawless to me.  There is some light protecting oil of course.

Frankenvise is fine for the largest projects where the extra fractions of an inch in jaw opening matters, but this will be what I use most of the time.  It is like a bigger, easier to use version of Sherline's 2" vise.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Nuclear Stress Test

I am likely still emitting gamma rays, but my heart is fine.  This is likely cold-induced asthma.  Back to my GP for a solution.  This indicates breathing through my nose, not mouth, will help; the opposite of what I have been doing.

Baby Telescope

I moved the primary mirror .5" closer to the diagonal and it is now a decently functioning telescope.  Most of the work on this rebuild was making sure that I could collimate it.  (The previous diagonal holder was a stalk that was held in the eyepiece focuser by a screw.  There was no practical way to adjust the diagonal's position relative to the primary mirror.)  I was able to collimate it to a level that it has never seen before!  I will need the primary and diagonal recoated.  From using it this evening on Bogus Basin, I have some confidence that it will make a fine scope for the Moon, the Orion Nebula, and other low magnification objects.  (I never had any delusions that my first mirror was great.)

How to mount it is the next issue.  I had originally put a 1/4"-20 hole in the bottom of the tube, but this is unsatisfactory.  The first time I mounted it on a camera tripod, it barely attached at first.  I did this 25 years ago.  Now I know that you should chamfer threaded holes.  So I did so, and perhaps too aggressively; this is not a very thick PVC tube.  It seemed to thread on, then rolled off into my fortunately present hands.  I have some 4 5/8" ID rings which I will turn into 4.5" rings with a layer of foam rubber.  These rings have 1/4"-20 holes in the bases.  I just need to make an assembly on which to mount these rings.

This will have to wait.  My mill is at Sherline getting fitted with limit switches, and trying to figure out why Axis X on the controller keeps blowing its fuse.

I turned on the TV and put the baby telescope (telescopette?) on the table.  Even at 50x (a 7mm eyepiece) it was nicely sharp.  Maybe I did a better job on this mirror than I realized.

Fortunately, This Was in California

Background checks on all firearms transfers; gun storage law to keep guns from kids; limits on magazine capacity; a "roster" of legal handguns that can be sold; assault weapon ban.  11/14/19 ABC News:
Two 14-year-old boys and a 16-year-old girl are dead and two other students are injured after a classmate opened fire at a high school in Southern California Thursday morning, sheriff's officials said.
The 16-year-old male suspect was taken into custody and is in the hospital in "grave condition" from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
Detectives reviewed video from the scene which showed the gunman in the quad of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita when he took a gun from his backpack, shot five people and then shot himself in the head, authorities said. The early morning school shooting was on the suspect's birthday, authorities said.
Helluva a birthday present. 

First Jaguar Repair

The "Check Engine" light came on.  One of the six oxygen sensors had failed. I am glad that I bought the 7 year, 100,000 mile extended warranty.  Although because these are emissions related, I suspect that they would have been covered anyway.

I saw the new Jaguar EV400 in the service driveway awaiting delivery to the owner.  All electric, pretty four door sedan.  0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and priced as you might expect.  Range about 240 miles between charges.  I think I am going to stay a gasoline man for another generation or two.  $70,000

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Forgot I Did This

Why the Dickey Amendment Was Passed

It appears from this article that this article in NEJM provoked it. While there is no direct statement: "guns should be banned," this quote conveys some of the language that is pretty clearly intended for that purpose: "Despite the widely held belief that guns are effective for protection, our results suggest that they actually pose a substantial threat to members of the household. People who keep guns in their homes appear to be at greater risk of homicide in the home than people who do not. Most of this risk is due to a substantially greater risk of homicide at the hands of a family member or intimate acquaintance. We did not find evidence of a protective effect of keeping a gun in the home, even in the small subgroup of cases that involved forced entry."

That they excluded lawful uses is pretty indicative of cherry-picking the data: "Although our case definition excluded the rare instances in which a nonresident intruder was killed by a homeowner, our methodology was capable of demonstrating significant protective effects of gun ownership as readily as any evidence of increased risk." They assume that "a nonresident intruder was killed by a homeowner" is rare, and exclude defensive uses that do not lead to death of an intruder. Here are 1155 gun defensive uses involving home invasions. And 492 residential burglary cases. And 326 residence robbery incidents. Many did not leave a bad guy dead. Excluding such cases is misleading.

If you have any connections with other bloggers, encourage them to link to this.

Trekz Titanium Bluetooth Headphones One of You Sent Me

Very cool.  You should get a check for postage in a few days.  Nice to leave the phone on the nightstand while shaving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gun Control as Suicide Prevention

They are banging that drum again. Fatality % by suicide method:
I suppose we could ban belts, cars, water, and bridges, but I am skeptical that these are anymore practical.


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Changing Frankenvise's Neck Bolts

One of you nice readers sent me some self-adhesive magnetic strips so the constantly falling down aluminum parallels could be used.  The Sherline vise, which I find clumsy to use, is aluminum, so these helped not at all.  Frankenvise, a squared up 4" drill press vise, had a valley at the bottom of the fixed jaw that made them useless for another reason: they would fall down into the valley.  So I milled the vise until the valley was largely gone (milling away the mesas and cutting the cliff's overhang on the fixed jaw).
Yes, I used a roughing mill so there are a series of lines in the fixed jaw, but that provides more grip (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it). How flat is this?  Left to right is +-.01"; front to back is +-.005".  This is not a precision vise, but for most of what I do that is good enough.  Those ridges on the bottom face are cosmetic; they do not show up as the dial test indicator goes across them.  If appearances mattered, I would take my fly cutter to them, but that hole on the right side makes cosmetics irrelevant.  The casting was clearly irregular and that section was thinner than the left side.  But anything there is supported by the rest of the fairly flat surface so it's ugly but functional as you would expect from something named Frankenvise.  And yes I have already used parallels with it.

Those Evil People at Hobby Lobby



You could actually support yourself at $15.70/hour (that's $2638/month gross) with health insurance.  A working couple could perhaps buy a house on $5200 a month gross pay.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

I Hate Using Firefox, But Opera No Longer Recognizes Mouse Clicks

It will not open a link unless you right click and ask to open a new tab.  How could you screw that up?

Not Quite There

The focal point is a little too far in to get a decent focus.  I can either move the mirror assembly an inch closer to the eyepiece focuser or find a lower profile focuser.  The rack and pinion unit that is there now is so stiff as to be unusable.  It is also a force fit eyepiece tube.  These are out of fashion now, and for good reason.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Why Orange Man Bad

11/7/19 Reuters:

Billionaires' wealth falls for first time since 2015

Hence the obsession with impeachment by the billionaires' party.

Bluetooth Headphones

I have some wired headphones for my cellphone, but they are sufficiently annoying because of wires that the bluetooth earwigs are getting attractive.  I am sure all of you are ahead of the curve on this.  Experiences?

Nuclear Stress Test

No, not a North Korea problem.  The symptoms that I have been having of shortness of breath when under cardiovascular stress (like climbing my absurd driveway) caused the cardiologist to schedule the ominously named "nuclear stress test."  (The symptoms are much like the period before the horrendous aortic valve replacement surgery.)  Fasting, then a 4 hour test where they inject radioisotopes, look at blood flow, then inject a dilating medicine and check the blood flow again.  The good news is that if the aortic valve is failing, they no longer cut you open.  They do a transarterial valve replacement.  They run a cathether to the valve and put another valve on top of the old one.  Not without risk, but no worse than cutting a hole in your chest, and far less painful.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Diagonal Holder Complete

I bought the spider from Astrosystems.  A nice piece of work far better than the rest of the hardware goijng into this rebuild of Tiny.  But he does not make diagonal holders small enough so I built my own:
The 1/4"-20 screw goes through the center (thorax?) of the spider.  The wing nut holds it in position.  The four 8-32 socket head screws move the aluminum 45 degree piece back and forth against the acorn nut (which has a 1/4"-20 hole through it).  The mirror holder is 1/25" diameter aluminum rod turned and bored to accept the head of that 4" fully threaded 1/4"-20 screw, then milled at a 45 degree angle on the mill.  The spider is in the tube, and when this is in place, the mirror holder is under the focuser.

Tomorrow, I will have Signs by Smith powder coat it flat black.  I thought of black anodizing the aluminum, but the minimum shop charge plus the fact that some of the steel pieces are shiny and can't be anodized, made powder coating seem the best choice.

I thought they did powder coating.  I guess not.  I believe you can electroplate steel black.  Any of you ever done that?

Everyone Knows This

Psychiatrists Cannot Distinguish Insane People From Sane Ones.  11/2/19 New York Post article about the Stanford professor who falsified data to persuade others of this:
In 1973, Rosenhan published the paper “On Being Sane in Insane Places” in the prestigious journal Science, and it was a sensation. The study, in which eight healthy volunteers went undercover as “pseudopatients” in 12 psychiatric hospitals across the country, discovered harrowing conditions that led to national outrage. His findings helped expedite the widespread closure of psychiatric institutions across the country, changing mental-health care in the US forever.
Fifty years later, I tried to find out how Rosenhan had convinced his subjects to go undercover as psychiatric patients and discovered a whole lot more. Yes, Rosenhan had charm. He had charisma. He had chutzpah to spare. And, as I eventually uncovered, he was also not what he appeared to be....
Rosenhan’s eight healthy pseudopatients allegedly each followed the same script to gain admittance to psychiatric hospitals around the country. They each told doctors that they heard voices that said, “Thud, empty, hollow.” Based on this one symptom alone, the study claimed, all of the pseudopatients were diagnosed with a mental illness — mostly schizophrenia.
And once they were labeled with a mental illness, it became impossible to prove otherwise. All eight were kept hospitalized for an average of 19 days — with the longest staying an unimaginable 52. They each left “against medical advice,” meaning the doctors believed that they were too sick to leave. A total of 2,100 pills — serious psychiatric drugs — were reportedly prescribed to these otherwise healthy individuals....
I also started to uncover serious inconsistencies between the documents I had found and the paper Rosenhan published in Science. For example, Rosenhan’s medical record during his undercover stay at Haverford found that he had not, as he had written in his published paper, only exhibited one symptom of “thud, empty, hollow.” Instead, he had told doctors that he put a “copper pot” up to his ears to drown out the noises and that he had been suicidal. This was a far more severe — and legitimately concerning — description of his illness than he had portrayed in his paper.

Gun Control Advocacy As Projection

I have long thought it odd that gun control advocates assume that nearly everyone is one stormy argument away from murder or suicide.  Over the years, I have seen other stories like this.  11/2/19 Washington Examiner:
A mother in Texas was found dead alongside her three children on Friday in an apparent triple murder-suicide.
Ashley Auzenne, 39, was known to have been battling depression and anxiety in addition to physical ailments such as arthritis and lupus at the time of her death, which was ruled as a suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Her three children, Parrish, 11, Eleanor, 9, and Lincoln, 7, were also killed by gunshots and their mother is the only suspect. She had just finalized a contentious divorce from their father, Murvin Auzenne Jr.
Auzenne was a vocal advocate for stricter gun control in the United States with multiple social media postings calling for an end to gun violence and Facebook profile pictures that bore the hashtags #Enough and #EndGunViolence.

AR-15s Are Not Useful for Self-Defense

11/4/19 New York Post:
A pregnant woman is credited with saving the lives of her husband and daughter after she used an AR-15 to fatally gun down a home intruder, a report said.
The hero mom sprung into action when two intruders entered the family’s Lithia, Fla. home last week and pistol whipped her husband while violently grabbing their daughter, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
“They came in heavily hooded and masked,” the husband, Jeremy King, told Bay News 9.
“As soon as they had got the back door opened, they had a pistol on me and was grabbing my 11-year-old daughter.”
The robbers then pistol-whipped King and kicked him while the man’s wife, who is eight months pregnant, retreated into the bedroom.
“When he came toward the back door in her line of sight, she clipped him,” King told the outlet. “He made it from my back door to roughly 200 feet out in the front ditch before the AR did its thing.”

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Stump the Academics!

What is the fundamental idea of Mussolini's Fascism?
Even though later liberal economists were less extreme, for they admitted State intervention in economic life, yet there is nothing in common between the Fascist and liberal theories of State, however modified and tempered the latter may be.
It must be remembered that Liberalism spells individualism; Fascism spells collectivism.[Giuseppe Tassarini, trans. Eduardo Cope, Fascist Economy 10 (Rome, 1937).]

Stump the Academics!

I am going to post a series of questions that not only will most ordinary people get wrong or just stare at you with incredulity when they hear the answer, but nearly all university faculty will do about as well.

1. Of what political party was Benito Mussolini a member five years before he founded the Fascist Party?

Mussolini rapidly made his mark in the Socialist party. In 1908, at the age of twentyfive, he was manager of the Avvenire in Trento, and editor of the Popolo of Cesare Battisti. At Forli he founded the Lotta di Classe, and took part in the management of the famous Avanti. He gained a great personal triumph at the Socialist Congress held at Ancona, when he imposed his strong anti-masonic convictions on the party, and became editor of the Avanti. Then came the acid test of the war. The Italian Socialists were pacifist to a man. Mussolini realized the true meaning of German militarism. He strenuously dissented from the Socialist support of neutrality, divining that "the very reasons for civilization" were involved in the cause of the Allies. He stood up against the fanatical anger of his party, deliberately sacrificing, at twenty-nine, his hardly won political position with its assured parliamentary career, and poured out his passionate conviction of the necessity of Italian intervention for the sake of justice, of humanity, of Italy. "You hate me, but you love me still!" he cried out at the mass meeting of November 25, 1914, at which was read the decree of his expulsion from the Socialist party. Calm and serene he faced the angry ranks of his former comrades, convulsed with cries of " Kill him !" and flung at them the triumphant words, "I tell you that from now I will have no pardon or pity whatsoever for those who in this tragic hour are afraid to speak their thoughts for fear of being hissed at, or of the cry of 'Down with him !'" Speaking for the last time as one of themselves, he forced his Socialist hearers to listen to the truth that, at this moment of her history, the hearts and minds of Italians could be filled with but one thought—Italy.
Mussolini, expelled from his party, had now to begin life again. He resigned his editorship of the Avanti, and immediately started a daily newspaper of his own, the Popolo d'ltalia. "Into this extraordinary journal he threw all his originality and vitality." He and his staff, full of the fire of youth, insisted on the intervention of Italy in the war, in face of the derision, scorn, and hatred of the Socialists, and while enduring poverty and hardship. The demand for intervention drew together men of the extreme Right, or Constitutional, party and those of the "advanced" groups; and it is significant that the son of the Socialist blacksmith at once felt himself at ease among the Constitutionalists. A profound harmony existed between the spirit of the Right and the fundamental inspiration of Mussolini's own political faith. Gradually the new paper won a great circulation; and ultimately it became the chief instrument of bringing Italy to the active assistance of the Allies. Indeed, Mussolini, as editor of the Popolo d'Italia, may be said to have been one of the great artificers of the final victory.[Gertrude M. Godden, Mussolini: The Birth of the New Democracy 34-35 (1923).]

Weren't These in an Episode of Start Trek: TOS?

I was using a mask to try and improve focus.  This is one of those masks where you go out of focus on a star and you get three out of focus images.  At exact focal point, you get one image.  In this case, Arcturus out of focus.

I wish that it did what I wanted.  But I still am not there.



Saturday, November 2, 2019

Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds Right to Say No

A group wanted to force someone to do something they considered immoral using an organ of speech (in a figurative sense).  Fortunately, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in favor of not forcing unconsenting adults to do something they did not want to do.

Another Amazing Coincidence

Regular readers know that I have observed that LGBTs report childhood sexual abuse at statistically significantly higher rates than the average.
Abstract
LGBTs report childhood sexual abuse at 3x-8x the rate of heterosexuals. LGBTs have similar order of magnitude higher rates of substance abuse, suicide, mental illness and obesity (among lesbians). The failure to consider this possible causal relationship has lead to a widespread assumption that homosexuality is an inborn and immutable characteristic. Failure to consider this possible origin has also led critics of homosexuality to assume that homosexuality as a preference is a conscious choice.
So imagine my surprise 9/21/19 People:
Jonathan Van Ness is ready to open up about being HIV positive.
Ahead of the release of his memoir Over the Top, which hits shelves Sept. 24, the Queer Eye star, 32, opened up to The New York Times about his health and history of addiction....
Van Ness also opens up in his memoir about having been abused by an older boy at a young age, which “planted the seed for other self-destructive behaviors,” according to the Times.
“For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” he told the newspaper.
As a young teenager, Van Ness said he would meet up with older men and that after using up his money on drugs in college, he “advertised sex for money on Gay.com,” according to the Times.  
By the time he was in his early 20s, Van Ness was using methamphetamine and then went to rehab twice, the newspaper reports.
But his sexual orientation could not possibly be associated with premature sexualization by another male. Right...

Friday, November 1, 2019

I Am Not Sure Why I Did Not Think of This Before

I needed a 3.5" long fully threaded 1/4"-20 screw, socket head.  The best that I could find was 3" long, or not fully threaded.  I still need about 1/4" or 1/2" more length for the diagonal holder for the tinyscope rebuild.  But I can buy screw couplers that are 7/8" long.  I can thus switch to the more available 1.5" fully threaded screws with a 1" screw at the far end of the coupler,